Wednesday October 04, 2017

Bill Nye says climate change deniers need to 'respect facts'

Bill Nye's new book is called Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem.

Bill Nye's new book is called Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem. (Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Montclair Film Festival)

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Change is a constant in Bill Nye's life.

You probably know him now as Bill Nye the Science Guy, host of various TV shows. But his career started as an engineer.  

"Like so many mechanical engineers, I started doing stand-up comedy," he jokes.

Those gigs turned into a role on Almost Live!, a sketch comedy TV show based in Seattle, Washington. When a guest didn't show up one day for the program, a colleague mused that he should be Bill Nye the Science Guy to fill time. The name and character stuck, and eventually, Nye got his own TV show, making him a household name to science buffs around the world.

' This is nothing new, you've got to be ready to change. Change is the only thing you can count on.' - Bill Nye

His many roles, from working scientist to TV science booster to climate change crusader, is a personal journey of adaptation — and Nye says the world needs to adapt to a rapidly changing, warming planet.

"Pretty soon there will be nine or 10 billion people [in the world]. We're going to have to change the way we do a lot of things. We're going to have to adapt. This is nothing new, you've got to be ready to change. Change is the only thing you can count on," Nye tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

"Adaptation is the way of living things. Living things that don't adapt disappear."

EARTH-DAY/USA-MARCH

Bill Nye leads demonstrators on a march to the U.S. Capitol during the March for Science in Washington, April 22, 2017. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

Nye says the climate change deniers speaking out on influential media are leaving the world in worse shape than they found it.

He suggests rationally addressing problems to create solutions.

"When you respect facts, when you acknowledge what's really happening around you, you're quicker to adapt, quicker to make changes, quicker to do things in your own best interest," Nye says.

"By ignoring facts, by not accepting the scientific method, by not acknowledging how much we know about nature, you're going to be at a real disadvantage as the world changes around you."  

'If you like to worry about things, you're living at a great time.' - Bill Nye

Nye says that people who deny climate change exists tend to be 50 years of age and older. 

"Young people are very concerned about it and ready to make changes."

But he suggests it's unclear there are enough young voters to get legislation, regulations, and infrastructure in place to address climate change "in a timely fashion."

"We'll see. If you like to worry about things, you're living at a great time."

Listen to the full conversation near the top of this web post.

This segment was produced by The Current's Liz Hoath.

This segment is part of our season-long series Adaptation looking at the surprising, innovative, and sometimes ill-advised ways we accommodate a rapidly shifting world.